CHICAGO – A group of Chicago business owners is offering two $25,000 rewards to help find the killers of recently slain children.
The group, led by philanthropist Early Walker, started the organization “I’m telling, Don’t Shoot” two weeks ago.
Gaston was shot along with his mother in a drive-by shooting Saturday afternoon in Englewood, police said. Gaston died after he was transported to St. Bernard Hospital by his mother.
James was shot and killed while riding in a vehicle with his father last Saturday in Austin.
“We have lost ten kids in the last few weeks under the age of 10, something needs to be done and we are putting our money where our mouth is,” Walker said.
Ald. Stephanie Coleman said Gaston deserved to grow up on the South Side of Chicag.
“Crime has no business in the 16th Ward, it has no business in Chicago. This is our community and we refuse to let crime take over the narrative of our community.” she said. “Sincere deserved to grow up in the Englewood I know and love.”
The activists said if the shooter turns themselves in, money will go towards their legal fees.
The tip hotline is 312-747-8380 or you can visit cpdtip.com.
“We have been in contact with the family, this group is going to be paying for the funeral of this young boy as well,” Walker said.
In wake of the George Floyd protests, the group said they are against defunding the police.
“We’re not for that, the alderman was elected on the fact that we need more police presence,” an activist said. “It’s our fault that this is happening, not the police’s fault. This is on us, not the police.”
In addition to their rewards, other community leaders have raised at least $14,000.
On Saturday, activists said they want fathers to put the word in the street to get the killers behind bars.
“Put the word in the street that this is no longer tolerated, we have been able to help individuals turn themselves in, now is the time,” Wallace Gator Bradley said.
Gun violence against children continued Saturday night, when a 10-year-old girl was shot and later died after a stray bullet went through her Logan Square residence.
Six Flags Great America released the following statement regarding the shooting:
Six Flags dedicates our greatest amount of time, talent and resources to safety and security.
Layers of preventative measures both inside and outside the park are in place for the protection of guests and team members. We continue to review and enhance our protocol on a daily basis to ensure we are providing the highest level of safety.
Cameras placed in the parking lot and inside the park, uniformed and plain clothes patrols throughout the property, and advanced screening technology allow us to react quickly and provide important information. The park security team is joined by the Gurnee Police Department, who operates a substation at the park.
This evening, we are incredibly grateful to our team members who reacted in a professional manner to take care of our guests, and for the Gurnee Police Department for their on-going presence and commitment to Six Flags Great America.